Disclaimer: I don't own Vesperia, not even a copy of the game TT_TT

Forgiveness

Estelle was certainly a stubborn princess. She loved to drag him around on her whim while she ignored his advice on not overusing her power and therefore exhausted herself to the point of unconsciousness. Granted, it was always to help innocent people, so even though he found it exasperating, Yuri always liked that part of Estelle.

But he really could do without it at times like this…

"Yuri!" He didn't need to look at the pink-haired princess to know she had that disapproving look on her face. "You really didn't have to destroy the garden when you were sparring. Mr. Fergusson worked so hard to make those flowers bloom."

"Hey, hey, you're dear Commandant also at fault here." Yuri grinned impishly from his seat at the windowsill. They were in Estelle's private library, Yuri sneaking in to the room to escape the old gardener's wrath only to get an earful from the princess. "Why are you not getting angry at him?"

"I didn't need to reprimand him. He is already helping Mr. Fergusson to repair the garden as we speak." Estelle pouted. Yuri never took her seriously when she scolded him. "And you should as well. It was both of you who sparred in the royal garden."

"Ah, so the esteemed Commandant Flynn Scifo is reduced to do a gardener's work. How the mighty has fallen." And Flynn's noisy lieutenant was probably searching the entire castle for that Lowell bastard so she could blame it all on him. Yuri made a mental note to be stealthier when he sneaked into the castle in the near future. He really didn't appreciate being nagged on by other people other than Estelle.

"Mou, Yuri." Estelle huffed. "That's not what you're supposed to say!"

"Alright, alright. I'll go help them." Estelle brightened. "Some time later." Estelle frowned.

"Honestly, Yuri…" Estelle shook her head resignedly. "You never change, do you?"

"Hey, that's the way I am." He smiled, amused by Estelle's growing disapproval.

Sighing, Estelle moved to stand beside Yuri. The view outside the window showed the serene greenery and a glimpse of the city behind the castle wall. She could see banners being erected and felt the general excitement surrounding the city. In just a few days, the crowning ceremony would take place and finally, Zaphias would have an emperor again. Estelle was very sure that Ioder will make a great leader for them all.

And speaking about the crowning ceremony…

"Yuri, do you know where Judith is?" Yuri turned his head at her. "I've sent invitation for the ball to everyone but the messenger couldn't find her. I wonder if she's okay…"

"Hey, don't worry. It's Judy we're talking about. I'm sure she is wrecking havoc somewhere."

"Somehow that sounds more like you, Yuri…" Estelle smiled. "But, yes. Judith is strong and she has Ba'ul so I'm sure they're both alright. It's just… it's been so long since I've talked with everyone. I miss them…"

"It's only been three months, Estelle."

"Yes. But when we traveled, we were always together everyday. Being by myself… times just flow slower." Here, she pouted at Yuri again. "And you never write, Yuri. Only Rita and Karol send me letters."

"Karol writes for me and Repede too." Yuri spoke his defense. "I'm sure he told you every detail about the guild and everything that happened to us."

"It will be nice if you write your own thought about those things as well." Estelle countered.

"Estelle, you know I don't like that kind of things." Yuri rolled his eyes.

Sighing, Estelle sat beside Yuri on the windowsill. In turn, he lowered his legs from the sill to create space for her. In a great imitation of the boss of Brave Vesperia, Estelle frowned at the amused ex-knight and said, "Yuri, you suck," before she delivered a punch to his arm.

"Hey!" Said ex-knight protested. "What was that for?"

Estelle huffed and turned her head haughtily. Yuri rolled his eyes again at her antics and leaned on the window, letting silence took over the conversation. Raised voice could be heard from below (an amazing feat, since they were pretty high from the ground) and he searched for the source curiously. The scene that greeted him was very amusing.

Yep, there's Flynn and an angry old gardener waving his shovel at the knight. Flynn tried to placate the old man but he seemed to be immune to Flynn's 'good boy charm' that enamored all the adults in Lower and Royal Quarter.

"Yuri…"

"Hmm? What is it, Estelle?"

"…I'm sorry…"

Yuri raised an eyebrow at the girl beside him. "Heey, and what are you sorry for? I thought it was supposed to be me who have to say that." Estelle shook her head and bowed her head further so all Yuri could see was her pink hair. "Hey, come on. Are you trying reverse psychology stuff on me? It's not working, you know."

"Hey, Estelle." He moved to touch her shoulder when she didn't give any reaction to his sarcasm. "Are you sure you're…"

"I'm sorry for asking you to kill me!!" Estelle had said it so fast, he needed time to let the sentence sink in.

"Well, that ruins the mood…" And what kind of moods were they in anyway. That part of their journey was not something he wanted to be reminded. The time when he had to choose between the world and Estelle… "It's over already. What make you bring that up?"

Estelle stuttered, still couldn't bring herself to look at him. "Well…I… when I was writing the story of Brave Vesperia… it makes me thinks of everything from the starts… and after Cumore and Ragou…" Her voice dropped to a whisper. "I… it was horrible of me to ask you to kill me…"

"Estelle…"

"I thought it was the best for everyone and the world if I'm gone but to asked you to do it…" When she knew Yuri would be haunted forever by the deeds if he had done it. Tears welled up on the corner of her eyes. "So I… I want to ask for your forgiveness and…"

"Estelle!" She blinked her tears away when Yuri grabbed her chin. The motion was rough enough to shock her from her depression but she still couldn't bring herself to look at him. Yuri almost growled at her timid reaction. Where was the naïve and stubborn princess who keep at nagging him until he relent and admit his faults?

"Estelle, look at me." He waited not-too-patiently until her emerald orbs meet his dark ones. Inwardly, he winced when she did turn her teary gaze at him. His voice was soft when he spoke again. "Don't blame yourself, okay. If you ask for my forgiveness for what you did, then I have to do the same too. Back then… if push came to shove… I would do what was necessary to save everyone even without you asking for it…"

Estelle nodded, understanding the implication of his words. She smiled bravely through her tear. "Than we should be thankful that everything didn't spiral down to that, huh?"

"Damn right we do. So, don't you ever think like that again, okay." Yuri butted their forehead lightly before he wiped the tears from her eyes. "Now look at you. A princess shouldn't show her weakness easily."

"Okay, Yuri." Estelle giggled; conscious of the heat on her face as Yuri's rough fingers moved across her cheek gently. She just hoped Yuri thought the redness on her face was the aftereffect of crying. Their face was just too close for her heart to beat normally!

She was not the only one whose heart beats furiously. Yuri knew he should remove his hand from her cheek and put a distance between them but doing it was difficult. The miniature Flynn inside his head (the one part of him that still respect the Empire's laws, hence the shape it took) already shouted at him to, "Unhand Lady Estellise, Yuri!!!" But with her lashes lowered, face flushed and soft inviting lips, she made a perfect temptation even for a saint.

And Yuri was far from saintly.

"Estelle…" His voice was husky and her breath hitched when she felt the distance between them closing in.

"Yuri…?" Is he… is he going to ki…

"COME OUT, YURI LOWEEEEELL!! I KNOW YOU'RE STILL HERE!!" LeBlanc's shout echoed through the hall.

At which, both the princess and the vigilante ex-Knight immediately jumped away from each other as if they were burned by Rita's fireball. Awkward didn't even begin to describe the situation as they blushed and turned away from each other.

"Oh, hah hah. I guess that's the cue for me to go back to the Lower Quarter." Yuri scratched his head lightly. He was annoyed but also thankful of LeBlanc timely interruption. Without it, he would definitely cross the line he had set up for himself.

"Um, ye, yes. Please be careful, Yuri." Estelle hid her blushing cheek with her hands. "Captain LeBlanc is more willful than Flynn when it comes to you."

"Heh, don't I know it." Yuri scoffed. "Well… I guess I'll be going now."

"Okay…" But before Yuri took a step, Estelle caught his hand between both of hers. He raised an eyebrow when she held it close to the lips he almost tasted. Estelle smiled at him, already waving off the awkwardness between them. "Thank you, Yuri."

"And that one is for what?"

"Everything." She answered simply. "Everything you've done for me and for everyone. I wish I can do more to repay for what you did for us."

"Meh, don't worry about it, Estelle."

As long as she smiled, it was enough for him.

AN: I'm sorry if it's not that good… Been a while since I wrote something. I was planning to start a series of drabble but I don't know if I have the attention span for it.